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8.1.1 General requirements
Subsection 17(10) of the SRCA requires that in the case where there are several claimants who are claiming compensation for a death, delegates must make one determination only in respect of all of those claims. Additionally, Section 56 of the SRCA requires that once the determination for death benefit has been issued and paid, no other claimant can be included. This issue has been dealt with in more detail at 2.4.
The Defcare standard letter database contains two death determination templates. The first relates to the general case involving SRCA/ADB issues only, payable specifically to a 'spouse' and the second differs only in appending advice on 'offsetting arrangements' i.e. where a claimant may have an additional entitlement to a VEA widow's pension or other VEA benefits. The second version (i.e. including advice on offsetting) is a determination to the effect that compensation is payable but this SRCA amount will not be paid unless the client signifies consent by returning an attached form.
Both of these standard-letter death determination templates relate to only the simplest death case, i.e. where the deceased ADF member left a wholly dependent spouse living with wholly dependent children. Neither form of determination is appropriate where the delegate may be dealing with a dependant other than a spouse, more than one wholly dependent adult dependants, dependants now living apart from each other, or (e.g.) several partly dependent dependants etc.
These standard templates will therefore, in many cases, require some modification to be useful or valid forms of determination. To meet the requirements of Ss17(10) over a very wide range of possible circumstance, plus the need to properly advise all parties to the determination (including those applicants who did not achieve a payment) and the need to allow an applicant to exercise options under the VEA, delegates should construct a determination tailored to the circumstances, as follows: